What Green IT Needs from the Feds
President-elect Obama has said that he will include a plan to promote green investments in an economic stimulus package he will introduce early in his presidency. Part of that package should include specific help for greening IT. Here's what I'm hoping he'll include, either in the package, or separate legislation.
Offer tax credits for the purchase of energy efficient hardware
This coming year is going to be a tough one for hardware makers. To help them, and to help green IT, the stimulus package should include giving companies tax credits for buying energy-efficient servers, computers, printers, and other IT equipment.
Offer tax credits for data center power reductions
In addition to an overall tax credit for energy-efficient hardware, the feds should also target the data center, one of the biggest energy-consumers in any corporation. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation makes this recommendation:
Congress should provide a tax credit of 50 percent for companies that reduce their data center power consumption by 15 percent for qualifed expenses including virtualization and consolidation, energy-effcient CPUs, energy-effcient computer power supplies, and server racks with improved airfow.Include Green IT in a cap-and-trade cabon emissions
Congress will likely pass some kind of cap-and-trade plan for carbon emissions. IT is a big contributor to carbon emissions, especially in the data center. So Congress should include It in any cap-and-trade plan. That will give big benefits to those companies that green their IT infrastructure. Link Hoewing, assistant vice president of Internet and technology issues for Verizon, recently made this proposal at a conference sponsored by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
Create Green IT procurement standards
The feds should not only offer a carrot to help green IT, but should use a stick as well. That stick should be a set of green IT procurement standards, to ensure that all equipment meets a minimum green standard.